Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.
I love the stark austerity of the Max Bill.
Maybe better to combine the budget and pick one watch? Just a thought.
late to the party, but wanted to reply to some of this.
barf. the worst part about that article is that so many people actually look at watches that way, and even more people end up thinking that way about watches when articles like those are the only exposure they have to luxury watch information and opinions. it just so bad and so wrong. maybe im naive, but i have a hard time believing that manufactures actually appreciate that kind of press.
whats to investigate? you mean which model of each you should buy?
classic dino. dropping knowledge like its hot. suffice to say i agree 100% and the post is so thorough i dont think i have anything to add besides praise.
i really enjoyed reading your post, but i think i have a bit of a different take on some of these points, and i wanted to share them.
i have been following watches and reading and learning about them since i was about 13. i think over that time the amount of knowledge or information that i have gleaned from articles like that in the forbes piece is next to nil. im not sure how i missed them or how they did not reach me, but im glad they did, as i shudder at the thought of what impressions they may have made on me.
the majority of my early learning came from billboards and simple one page glossy ads with pictures and small blurbs/mottos in magazines. from there i started to order collection books from any manufacture i could the phone number to. i probably have close to a hundred of them and i read them all cover to cover. they are not just catalogues like you get from j crew or BB, they are mostly hard cover books, many of witch are well over 100 pages. they send them out "for free" but we know the cost of printing and making these lavish books is built into the price of the watches and we pay for it in the end, but from a simple educational standpoint, i think its more than worth the cost.
obviously any brand will never speak ill of itself, but i found the books to be refreshingly free of any "journalism." they were filled with historical information about the founding of the brands, their ownership, their accomplishments and awards, and beautiful pictures of all current models as well pics of some of their more famous historical pieces. they were straightforward, even if romanticized. here is who we are and where we are, this is what we make, this is why we make it. i found that companies like omega, or chronoswiss or rolex (interesting pairing, i know, thats just what popped into my brain) or any brand whose bread and butter watches were under 5 figures, didnt pretend to be something they were not. if was simply information with a slightly pornographic presentation in order to draw you in, and man did it work.
my next step was watch time magazine. i cant speak for what they write now as i have not been a subscriber for a while, (though i wish i was, i just found that i stopped reading it, probably because of SF) but for the two years i had it, i read each issue almost religiously, and i loved it. i found that their articles were very honest, and often critical of watches where they felt something was off. i think most of the watches that they tested scored in the mid 80s out of 100 points, with very very few watches cracking 95. i never saw them give out a 100, and that actually bothered me as i felt that sometimes they would nitpick just to shave off a few points. classic example would be a legibility neg for difficult night time readability if there was no lume. c'mon, most dressy watches should not have lume imo.
anyhow, i learned a ton from them, and they even put out many special editions where they featured articles new and old all on one brand, and in tandem with that brand. i felt that the brands were happy to be represented in watchtime, even though some of their models did not get glowing reviews.
now, did they have an overall positive stand point? sure they did, but i felt that was obvious and that they were honest. no one wants to read an article that totally bashed a watch. so they wrote on pieces that were overall good pieces. while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, every brand makes models that most people think are dogs for one reason or another, and i was happy that they didnt waste time writing about those models. and on the other end, i think some times people like us in here are overly critical of certain things and could use on occasion to step back and realize that we are often overly picky and sometimes despite out negs on a model, it may be overall quite nice.
certainly there are many articles and pieces that are guilty of the crimes mr foster has accused them of, thankfully i do not seem to come across them, but i dont think thats a shill from manufacturers and i dont think they are in bed together. i think most people dont really know a whole lot about watches and for one reason or another their editor wants them to write a fluff piece, so they do it. sure it sucks, but no one can control the entirely of the media, it is what it is to a degree, and i find its best to just stay away from it to keep my blood pressure at a healthy level.
are manufactures maximizing their profits and taking advantage of the public....? maybe, maybe not. they are all business in the business of making money, and they have the right to do so. and yes, a lot of watches are over priced imo, but that never bothered me. these are multi million and sometimes multi billion dollar companies ant they are not run by fools. i am sure there is a great deal of research behind the pricing. i am sure they are thinking of the future. will they see they have shot themselves in the foot? i guess we will find out in 10 to 20 years.
not to mention, we the public are always wanting more and better. when a company puts 5 years of R&D into a new movement or design to bring us cool new stuff, are they supposed to eat that cost as a public service? i dont think so. when they are expected to put on wonderful shows at various watch expos and showcase new stuff every year, are they supposed to eat that too? when i call up and ask for a free book should they eat that? there is a tremendous amount that goes into the making of these watches, even the ones we may hate, and that cost needs to be covered, just like in any business. is there some padding going on, yes i am sure there is, but its a luxury market and we all know that markups in the luxury field are not small. when RL makes a bed frame for 25k its no different. or a TF suit for 6k. thats just the name of the game.
as to "honest brands." i dont think that brands are dishonest for the most part. i dont think you can expect a sam hober experience from any brand that makes the amount of watches they do. can you email mr stern 50 times with questions about a stock calatrava? these are not mom and pop shops. they are servicing hundreds of millions of people across the globe, not a couple hundred connoisseurs. not mention, while a 150 tie is obscene for many people, its still 150 bucks, not 50k or 600k. its a different animal entirely.
nor do i think you can compare rolex or patek or AL or JLC or breitling or omega or any brand like that to a nomos or a FC. those are little doods, doing there thing, trying to sell their watches. and i have no hate towards them. i love many of their models, but i guarantee it to ya that they would love to charge more. but they cant and they know they cant. they are just different. and for the most part, a nomos or FC doesnt compare to brands with similar models that cost more. you can usually tell the difference in finishing and materials. sure some of their models are really awesome and really can compete and offer a sick value, but most of their pieces, not so much. and thats fine, they are serving different people, they have different costs and different business models.
repairs. well, thats a tough one. i think its case by case, but first off, lets start asking all customers to be honest. how many people stupidly swim in a watch and forget to close crown. or drop their watch by accident or anything like that, and they stroll into a shop and say, "my watch stopped working." i can tell you, a lot of people. thats how many. i mean, we are wearing thousands of dollars on or wrists. or tens of thousands. treat them like it. accidents happen, but whose fault is that? does it suck that its 10k to fix your watch that you dropped. yup. it sucks balls. but there is no such thing as a warranty against dropping something. thats what insurance is for.
are repair costs from manufacturers nusto, probably, but how many true blue malfunctions do you know of? like a watch that just stopped working for no good reason at all. its rare. do watches need adjustments sometimes? sure. and within the first few years, if they stop keeping proper time, they will fix it under warranty. for free. is it time consuming? sure it is. but think of the scope of what they do and how many people are are getting stuff fixed. it takes time. and that is just another part of the luxury world. and for the most part people who truly have a luxurious lifestyle, have the time to wait. they have another watch to wear. or 5. so they dont care that it takes up to 6 months to get their watch back. i know thats not me. when i strap on my JLC that has an MSRP of almost 10k, i know im not that luxurious of a guy. i saved and bought something that really does not match my standard of living. i drive a used accord V6 and i live in a house that is maybe 2k thousand square feet. i know im out of my league. but i like watches, so i try and get them, but i know that i am entering a league that i dont really play in, and i dont expect to be catered to.
past the warranty, well if your bespoke suit frays because you wear it a lot, do you expect free repair. no, of course not. watches are mechanical, they have moving parts, they wear down. thats is the nature of the product, and part of that is a cost of upkeep. no different that a car company that offers 5 years of free maintenance on a new luxury car. and after that, youre on your own buddy. its just another part of having a luxury item that is delicate. even the most rugged sporty luxury watch is still delicate on the inside and needs to be maintained.
i may come of as harsh, and sorry if i did. but i think that like many things, there is more than one POV here, and i wanted to share mine.
sorry for the way long post.
tl;rd -is the watch world perfect. no. do i think its unfair? no i dont. am i wearing rose colored glasses? maybe, but it keeps me happy. is this thread my favorite place to talk watches. 100%.
Stitchy--I appreciate you coming across strongly, no need to apologize of course! The last thing I would ever want TWAT to be is a place where we all mindlessly agree about everything. It is the variety of opinions which makes this thread so great. I will think about my response and make one later, after I finish studying for the day
thanks! i look forward to your response, buddy.
Good stuff Stitches.
Don't want to pick the scab, but think the history you've related casts some light on the reaction we had to the bit about that uber-show in the Gulf. There are different kinds of enthusiast, for pretty much anything you care to name in the "luxury" space. Some care mostly about the thing qua thing, for its innate qualities, and some care about it largely as a status signifier. There isn't a right or wrong either way -- it's just a piece of metal (or leather, or whatever) -- but I'm guessing the majority of us posting here tend toward the former motivation. The makers, of course, need to serve both of these constituencies if they can, while satisfying the usual economic imperatives like growth of market share or net margin, or whatever their own particular focus may be.
thanks, and you make a solid point. well said.
Great posts here, and if I might chip in two penn'rth.
Firstly, one thing I love about this thread, and certain others on this Forum, is that "long posts" are not a crime. The awesomeness of this thread in particular is the easy mix of watch pr0n, debates over optimum female bottom size, and the sometimes weighty, unashamedly intellectual or specialised posts that are informative and sometimes provocative (in the positive, intelligent sense) at the same time.
Secondly, back to the subject of the original Forbes article. I actually beg to differ just a little on this point: sure, it's not a wonderful example of informed writing, but I do see some benefit in it. Just as seeing a billboard or hearing some ill-informed guys in a bar bragging, anything can get someone started with an interest in good watches: I don't really even have any, but I'm hooked on the subject somehow just because of this thread! Yes, it is rather trivialising the design and engineering achievements of all these makers to make a list of what they're supposed to "mean" socially. But in the context of a lifestyle article that seems to be a in series of light pieces about what all sorts of things mean socially, I don't see much harm.
The company and opinions of experts can be an intimidating and unfriendly place to many - cliquey, exclusive and unwelcoming. So just as it was said that manufacturers should keep offering watches at accessible prices in order to draw in more potential aficionados, so there's a place for an article like this. If I'd never heard of JLC or Panerai or whatever, or didn't even really think much about mechanical watches at all, these shallow generalisations might nevertheless tickle my interest: first, the idea that a mechanical watch is a part of good dress. Second, that buying anJLC or a Rolex would be a good way to avoid being laughed at when expressing an interest in learning more about the subject. It might be simplistic and vacuous, but at the end of the day, it's promoting the idea of mechanical watches to people who can probably afford one, but either didn't think of it, or didn't know where to start.
Watch nuts can find a hundred places to read specialist, informed reviews, or debate their likes and dislikes. But in a magazine offering business news plus some light lifestyle ideas for aspiring executives, a little light tattle is probably the right tone, and perhaps we should be happy they bothered with the subject at all. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but when it sparks a quest for more, it's priceless. Perhaps, then, we shouldn't be looking at this as a review of watches and criticising it as such, rather thinking of it as a simple, primary-coloured billboard, that might draw in some new friends.
Same here. Easy drive.
Came close last night on a Breguet 3137 at the Tourbillon boutique in Gustavia. Decent price for new net of VAT. Wish I had thought to grab a pic. Beautiful.
No watch and no pic?
Good, level-headed perspective, as always.
And the fact that you can write "unashamedly intellectual" and "debated over optimum female bottom size" in the same sentence is what keeps guys like me coming back to this thread over and over again. I mean, aside from learning about watches and viewing awesome pics, of course.
I almost missed responding to this. This may well be the most overtly enabling statement you've issued for one of my prospective purchases, current collection (and speed at which I amassed them) aside. That double red SD really got to you, huh!
It may well no longer be available but just to tempt myself further and test my willpower, I'll ask my dealer again if I can take a look at it. I am afraid to put it on my wrist!
Thanks for that, Frilly, made me chuckle. I'm looking forward to pictures of your new SD. It's a natural evolution; you were bound to move on to "rare and collectible" sooner or later...
definitely! i was in your neighborhood a couple weeks ago...eating at the whole foods in mountain brook. Had some meetings there. i had never been before...hate birmingham, loved MB though.
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